Points, Miles & Life

Travel adventures on this earthly pilgrimage

Category: Promos (page 1 of 3)

Best ever offer for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card!

The best-ever offer is back for the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express. We routinely see various increased offers for this card, but the past couple iterations have been especially rich.

The offer

Currently, the card offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Additionally, you can earn a free weekend night after paying the card fee on your first card anniversary.

The card carries and annual fee of $75. If you factor in the free night on the first anniversary, you’ll essentially be paying $150 for one hotel night and 100,000 Honors points. Not a bad deal.

Assuming that you get $150 out of the free night (but you can likely get more), I estimate the value of the bonus points to be $500 (0.5 cents per Hilton point). You *can* get a lot more out of Hilton points, however (SEE: Travel hacking win: booking last-minute eclipse travel).

If you’re interested in the card, I would appreciate it if you would apply via my¬†referral link. I’ll receive a bonus if you do. ūüėČ

Card details

The Hilton Honors Surpass card isn’t a fantastic one for everyday spending. Due to the low value of Hilton points, even earning 3 points per dollar isn’t all that hot.

However, the card does earn 6 points at grocery stores, which is fairly reasonable. It also earns 12 points per dollar at any of the Hilton hotel brands. What the card is sadly lacking, though, is no foreign transaction fees. This means you get hit with a 3% fee if you use it abroad, even for Hilton stays.

One of the biggest perks of the card is that it grants you Hilton Honors Gold status. This will give you free breakfast at most full service Hilton hotels, room upgrades, and other perks.

This is a great card if you stay at Hilton brand hotels even a handful of times per year!

IHG’s Winter 2017 Promotion: Accelerate (Yes, Again)

In what may become the most reused promotion name in hotel industry history, IHG has yet again released another Accelerate promotion. I am beginning to think that the name “Accelerate” may be here to stay. The current Fall 2016 promotion is just winding down, and the new one picks up January 1, 2017. The couple weeks around the holidays are unfortunately left out in the cold.

Like all the other Accelerate promotions, the offers are “customized” (the best I can tell, it is randomized, or influenced by status) for each member. Shawn over at Miles to Memories reported that his were okay at best.

I was fortunate to get a good one. Mine has the potential to earn 30-31k points from a single night stay and a purchase of 1,000 points. This should cost a total of $100 at most. If I am fortunate enough to have a work stay during the promotion, it could easily cost me as little as $13.50 out of pocket for the points purchase. Pretty sweet. It’s even better than the last couple I have had.

What other offers are out there? Let me know what yours are in the comments.


Targeted SPG Promo: Double Elite Qualifying Stays and Nights

Starwood has followed up their summer Triple Up earning promotion with a new promo that allows SPG members to earn double elite credit for both stays and night through November 15. The fall promotion appears to be targeted. For anyone planning some paid travel, this could be very useful for qualifying for SPG Gold or Platinum for 2017, though the future of the SPG program is still unknown for now.

The best way to maximize this promotion would be via either lots of single nights (5 single-night stays will get you SPG gold, even starting from 0 nights), or a couple longer stays at cheap hotels. Good luck finding many in the U.S. The best deals are in places like India and Southeast Asia.

At first glance I thought the promotion would apply to free nights and stays, but the terms and conditions clearly state that this is¬†not the case. You must use¬†a qualifying rate (i.e. paid rate) that earns Starpoints to double count the stays and nights. Sadly, the nights¬†don’t count toward lifetime status.

For me personally, this promotion is not very enticing. I have only one night to go to retain SPG Gold for another year, and the hurdle to attain Platinum is too high. It would take a substantial amount of work travel (with some perfect deals on rates) to even come close. I will likely be sticking to other chains for the rest of the year for any travel plans.

Make sure you register by October 15.

Easy 500 United Miles For Using Visa Checkout

Yesterday I noticed a new promotion on United’s website, offering 500 United MileagePlus miles for enrolling in Visa checkout. The offer is only available to MileagePlus Visa cardholders. To take advantage of the promotion, visit the promo website, enter your United MileagePlus number, and then proceed to either log into your Visa Checkout account or create a new account.

The terms of the promotion offer 500 miles for enrolling in Visa Checkout with a United MileagePlus Visa and making a purchase of at least $5, using your newly enrolled MileagePlus Visa, within 15 days of enrolling. What is not clear to me is if only truly new accounts are eligible for the promotion, or if existing accounts are eligible if the MileagePlus Visa card added is new to the account. The offer is valid through 09/30/2016, so take advantage of it if you can.

United Is Targeting MileagePlus Members With A Personalized Promotion

United is currently running a personalized promotion that has targeted some or their MileagePlus members. Bonus miles are being offered for meeting various premier qualifying dollar (PQD) thresholds, and the most common thresholds that I have been hearing reported are $1,000, $1,500, and $2,500. At $2,500 the final bonus threshold falls just short of the incremental $3,000 PQD required for each premier level. It could be that United is trying to coax its frequent flyers into qualifying for the next tier.

You can check for a personal offer at United’s promotion site. Just enter your MileagePlus number to see if you are targeted and, if so, what your bonus offer is. Do note that the it only premier qualifying dollars count toward the total, which do not include ticket taxes or fees, and also do not include dollars spent on partner flights marketed by United. You must¬†fly on United metal.


My offer gives me the potential to earn an additional 36,000 additional United miles. I was mildly surprised that I even had an offer, considering that I have never qualified for elite status with United. My membership with MileagePlus began in 2013, and I have had only a few revenue flights with the carrier. The offer certainly sweetens the deal for trying to qualify for Premier Silver, but it is extremely unlikely that I will even attempt to qualify. I do not foresee myself on more than one United flight through the end of 2016. But maybe work will step in and make it possible.

So far my job¬†has sent me on two flights in 2016, both with United, for a premier qualifying dollar total of just over $1,000. I don’t have any more business¬†trips on the radar that require air travel, but maybe more will materialize before the promotion ends in November.

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